Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Getting Knotted

It is with pleasure that I continue to tie knots whilst reflecting on the day.  Very quickly my headspace moves to one of serene contemplation.  Based on the Rosary Knot those shown contain only a double twist.  Why the computer keyboard background?  So that you would ask "Why the computer keyboard background?"..... This piece of work holds a question for me: what do the thoughts of a day look like and how can artificial intelligence come close to, or surpass, that complexity of thought processing and storage?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Taking Down The Show Tonight

Below are some images from my show with Ilse Leader
Driftwood of the Mind

The Salt Spring Gallery was excited to show Memory Hive again and it stimulated many an interesting conversation, not just about memory but many ageing related topics, general biology, art and science matters.

Some of the pieces that I showed were older but there were an equal number of new creatures (30 pieces in total, like the little snail and the spiky bangle-shaped creature mid shot above.

This delightful young woman was a breath of fresh air - I hope to work with her on another project shortly.

Ilse's daughter donated this piece of driftwood on which my miniatures were displayed.

This one named for Joan Radven - Vesparum Perterget radvenii, from the Latin meaning Raven's wasp with brushes (or eyelashes.... reminds me of you Joan)...
I think the show was successful Ilse and I both sold works.  And tonight I hope to get a photo of Ilse and me at the show and find out how many footfalls we attracted.
Thanks to everyone who supported us in this venture, especially Ilse for inviting me to join her in the space.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


In another parallel universe I am working on a theatre production.
Here is my latest - a mock up for a 2' x 5' vinyl banner for a scientific research group call Gemstar.
I learnt to use Photoshop with my son years ago  - and I'm still learning.

Probably this item needs to be supplied as an Illustrator file... so the learning curve continues.
Anyway here it is for perusal and comment only.

Vectors by Vecteezy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Such a Relief

It has been months since I could access the photos neither those on my darling Olympus OMII (- you know the one.. it look like it uses film. And should be on a film set circa 1950..... Oh dear, its sensor got zapped and when I was trying to photograph the Transporter Bridge in Squamish I got lines over the image....
nor those stored on Aperture we have been locked out of that software for weeks....

Oh happy day - today we found that the fabulous John has solved the issue after many reloads.  And an attempt to switch to Lightroom... which we will have to do.

I mention this here because without access to my images I wouldn't have been able to build this didactic for the show.  I hope it explains for all and sundry what I get up to in order to create my creatures.... (maybe  you will have to click on it to enlarge and maybe it will be legible then??)  I think this will make a good blog entry for Evolution of Moral Progress, so I had better put it up there too......

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Invitation to Meet Curious Creatures

I am so fortunate to have been invited to show alongside Salt Spring Gallery Member Ilse Leader.
The gallery (and artists' collective) does fabulous work for the community including fund-raising for those in need.
In my case I am an invited artist showing my shibori-based textile art along with Ilse's fabulous weave/felt/fabrics, clothing and three dimensional constructions.
My work will include some 30 nudibranchs or creatures based on marine slugs!!!!!!!  I just love them. Also a showing of Memory Hive.
Both Ilse and I feel very connected to the sea, both of us having lived most of our lives by the seas of the world and now we are connected by our fibre art too.

I hope you can make it to the gallery on Friday 13th  (yikes!) July, the show is on for 3 weeks.
And if you can' make the opening maybe consider coming over to the Artists' Island of Saltspring for the Fibre Fair.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I'm a proponent of cultural appropriation in art - How politically incorrect is that?

I'm thinking of using knotting in a piece of work, researching Quipu and thinking about the political correctness of avoiding cultural appropriation in art. Cultural appropriation is a thorny issue, one I have been made keenly aware of in Canada. I hold in my heart regret for those whose culture has been appropriated whilst under colonial rule, or subjected to an imbalance of power.  This is not what I am involved in here.

Quipu are best known from the now lost civilization of S. America, but also from China and Hawaii... and thought to be a method of recording data, stories and double-entry accountancy.  Who would have thought that when researching for a mixed media/fibre art work I would need to read from The Accounting Historians' Journal?

Is cultural appropriation a bad thing?
Though the word appropriation has negative connotations, I argue that cultural appropriation can be a work for good.
Where would we be, I wonder, if no-one had picked up the idea of making marks on a cave wall and run with it?... Hmmm? (The latter remark to be said with a James Keziah Delaney intonation), to lighten the mood a little).
This, below, from Wikipedia (of course) says the same thing, a view expressing when cultural appropriation might be seen as a positive activity...

"A different view of cultural appropriation characterizes critics of the practice as "engaged in a deeply conservative project: one which first seeks to preserve in formaldehyde the content of an established culture and second tries to prevent others from interacting with that culture"   Proponents of cultural appropriation view it as often benign or mutually beneficial, citing mutation, product diversity, technological diffusion and cultural empathy as among its benefits."

I would add the word  progress to this list.
I can imagine a world where Quipu continues to be created in its original form as a tribute to the now, lost civilizations that practiced it in South America and others eg., China and Hawaii.  Alongside this I would advocate its progress and development in the same way I work with Trapunto (Italian), Shibori (Japanese) and Shisha (India) and other techniques that are traditionally associated with a specific culture (see names in parentheses), where I have studies the traditional form, and then moved it to a new and innovative use.

Please do comment as this is an area I would like to continue thinking about.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Working towards a show with Ilse Leader

"Slow-Stitch - Snail Shibori”

Materials: Fabrics, dye, wire.
Techniques incorporate: Shibori and a deep affection for the colour blue.

After encouragement and an invitation from Ilse Leader, I am joining her and showing works in the latter part of July, on Saltspring Island.
Blog link to follow shortly.
This little guy, is based on an amalgamation of memories from diving in the Gulf of Oman, researching the most fabulous of creatures (Nudibranchs) after Foraminifera who as single-celled sure take the biscuit, and walks along the SW shores of England... the Jurassic coast!
It was 'put together' after spending a morning of art-talk with Ilse and finding a light bulb had gone on.

More on this soon.